How Radon Can Get Into Your Home

How Radon Can Get Into Your Home



Radon gas can pose a health risk to people around your home. Statistics indicate that indoor exposure may be responsible for up to 10% of cases of lung cancer. It is also a factor that can increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

However, the gas is colorless, odorless, and, therefore, difficult to detect. In this article, we look at some of the pathways radon can find its way into your home.

Soil Gas

The primary source of radon is from the soil below your home. Only 10% of the gas is released through the air. Also, the concentration of the radioactive element in the ground can vary. It usually depends on the porosity of the soil to gas and the presence of other fluids that can carry radon to the ground.

One of the common misconceptions about radon is that it is mainly found in certain regions of the country. That myth can make homeowners complacent about testing for radon in their homes and residential properties.

The truth is that radon can be present in homes across the country where the conditions allow them to be present. The gas can rise through the soil and get into your home through cracks in the foundation. The more porous the soil, the more it is likely to pose a risk of radon in your home.


Water from an underground aquifer may contain significant amounts of radium, particularly if the base rock is granite. In such radium-rich wells, the concentration of radon can be over 1 million pCi/L. The radioactive particles are brought indoors through the taps or rises through cracks in the foundation.

Radioactive gas is also likely to be present in significant quantities where there is also propane or natural gas. The gases may accelerate diffusion between the gas and the water that may be coming into your home.

However, in many places around the country, the levels of radium in underground water are within safe levels. But you shouldn’t ignore any step that requires testing for radon. Even in places where levels are considered safe, the soil may vary in composition and structure and be prone to radioactive pollution.

The Air

Radon gas can also be carried through the air into your home. In most residential properties, it goes through cracks in the foundation. The particles find their way into the atmosphere and can deposit on surfaces.

Radon is hardly ever passed onto humans through ingestion. The primary method of exposure is through inhalation. It is important to note that radon is seven times heavier than air. So when it gets into your home, it could settle on the ground level where it can be easily inhaled.

For that reason, radon mitigation of potentially contaminated air involves redirecting the gas over the roof of the house. In the atmosphere, it quickly diffuses and no longer poses a threat to people on your premises.

Building Materials

Building materials, such as sandstone, gypsum, and granite, are taken from deep below the ground. They at times have traces of radioactive elements, such as thorium and uranium. These elements, usually disintegrate to form the radioactive radon gas.

Granite is one of the materials that have traces of radioactive gas. Granite counter tops have been found to contain minute amounts of radon. Even though consumers have been raising concerns over the risk of using such counter tops, scientists believe the quantities are within the safe levels.

Testing for radon or radioactivity on building materials requires sophisticated tools. Such equipment is handled by trained professionals from a local radon mitigation company. Most researchers have pointed out that the greatest source of radioactive gases is through the ground.

In Conclusion

Radon can get into your home through various pathways and pose a risk to your family. Testing for radon is the surest way to determine if the interior of the building is safe from contamination. Visit our site for more on testing and abatement of the gas.

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